How to choose a reel mower

First, make sure you have looked over disadvantages of manual reel mowers. Reel mowers are simple to use, but there are some situations, like rocky yards, where the mower will not work very well.

So, now you are up to date on reel mowers and determined, “Yes, I want peace when mowing my lawn!”

Now what? How do you choose the right reel mower for you?

Here is what you should consider.

  • Electric vs. Manual
  • Grass Cutting Length
  • Size and Weight
  • Type of Grass

Electric Reel Mower or Manual Reel Mower?

Basically, an electric reel mower has a battery that turns the blades for you. Manual reel mowers are powered by you. Some prefer an electric reel mower, thinking it is easier to push through the grass. But in reality it is a heavier mower with more parts and a battery to charge. If you are looking for ease and simplicity, a manual reel mower might fit you better.

Grass Cutting Length

This is an option on reel mowers. Pay attention to what works best for your lawn. Check out how to control the height of your grass with a reel mower. If you are unsure, use this list of recommended grass cutting heights. Then compare to models of reel mowers to make sure you can achieve that length with the mower’s settings.

Size and Weight of Mower

Consider the size of your yard. If you have a larger yard, you might want the widest mower. You may be happier with a mower that cuts 20 inches with each pass, like the Scotts Classic reel mower. Smaller yards or if you just like mowing, you would be fine with a smaller mower that cuts 15 inches. Look into the the Brill Luxus 38, and check out these reel mower models arranged by cutting width.

So think about if a few less passes matters, or does it get you out of indoor chores? I think I would take listening to the quiet or a podcast while pushing a reel mower any day over scrubbing toilets.

Get a mower that you can handle comfortably. You might want one that is lightweight to hang on a garage wall. You may like the feel of a heavier mower. Just be aware, that there is a range of options here. But pay attention to the type of grass, as some grasses require a heavier mower.

Type of Grass

Sometimes, you hear bad hype on reel mowers. In most cases, this is because someone picked the wrong reel mower. A lightweight mower does not always perform well on heavy grasses. So, if you have thick grass like, St Augustine, Bermuda, or Zoysia a heavier mower will work best. Consider a reel mower like the Scotts Classic or Prison Mower. These are some of the heavier models of reel mowers.

Typically, the south and southwest part of our country have thicker grasses because of the climate, where they would want a heavier mower. The east coast, west coast, and northern half of the country tend to be fine with a lightweight mower. Look into the Brill reel mowers for some of these lightweight models. But again, just double check your turf to make sure.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marjorie King 06.01.09 at 9:44 pm

The Silent Cut reel mowers are by far my most popular reel mowers. People love the heavy duty, built-to-last construction…
Marjorie King, Owner
Reel Mowers, Etc.

2 Dennis Bolay 04.04.10 at 1:26 am

I have been using a Honda for years and am considering switching to a reel mower. The Honda has produced a very nice cut. How does a people powered reel mower like a Brill or Scott compare to the cutting ability of the Honda?

Thank you.

3 Daniel j Rudy 05.03.13 at 1:22 pm

Looking for a Reel lawn mower to cut Bermuda grass. For a putting green!

4 lars 05.13.13 at 2:23 pm

@Daniel

I think McLane might be the only reel mower manufacturer that makes something that cuts low enough for a putting green, so you might look at that company’s models.

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